Shirley Volkema ’59 Richardson

COMMUNITY LEADER AND PROFESSIONAL VOLUNTEER Shirley, of the Fox Run Senior Living Community in Novi, formerly of Farmington and Waterford, entered eternal life on Tuesday evening, January 11, 2022, 11 days following her beloved husband, John’s passing on New Year’s morning. She was 84 and in declining health for some time. Shirley was born July 13, 1937, in Holland, MI, to the late Louis and Hermina (Looman) Volkema. She attended Hope College in Holland, MI, from 1955-56, MSU from 1956-57, and graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from the Arkansas State Teachers College. She and John were married on December 20, 1957 and enjoyed over 64 years of marriage. Shirley was a tireless volunteer and community advocate deeply dedicated to the greater Farmington community. Shirley was elected to Farmington City Council and served as Council member and Mayor in the early 1990’s. In addition to her time on council, Shirley served on the City Planning Commission, Beautification Committee, Women in Municipal Government, Farmington Area Goodfellows, Gazeboergola Fund Committee, Farmington Community Veterans, Farmington Jaycee Auxiliary, Founder’s Festival Committee, Longacre P.T.A., the Farmington Community Center, Keep Michigan Beautiful, Beautification Council of SE Michigan, Michigan Veterinary Association Auxiliary, and Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association Auxiliary. Her efforts to better our community were well-acknowledged. Her recognitions include the 1970 Farmington Elks Citizen of the Year, the 1988 Farmington/Farmington Hills Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, and in 1989, Shirley earned the Greater Michigan Foundation’s Volunteer Leadership Award. Dr. John and Shirley moved to Waterford in 1994 after razing their cottage to build their retirement home after 19 years of family summer fun on Lotus Lake. While in Waterford, John and Shirley became active contributors in their new community by forming the Waterford Beautification Community, as well as serving on several other community programs and organizations. Like they did in Farmington, the Richardsons helped make the Waterford Township community a better place to live, grow, set up business, shop, and raise a family. Clearly, our communities have been fortunate to have Dr. John and Shirley Richardson as distinguished residents. Most importantly, however, Shirley was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to countless men and women who will be forever grateful for her devotion, kindness, and generosity. May her beautiful soul rest in peace. Surviving are loving children, Tami (Terry) Inch, Mitzi Hamp, and Mark (Samantha) Richardson; cherished grandchildren, Matthew (Courtney) Inch, Michael (Sydney) Inch, Kyle Inch, Sydney (Skyler) Lykins, and Dane Richardson; great-grandchildren, Hazel and Jack Inch; her sister, Sandra (Harold) Swartz of Tucson, AZ; as well as numerous friends and associates. In addition to her husband, Shirley was preceded in death by sisters, Carolina (Elmer) Vande Wege, and Gloria (Lawrence) Herbert. The Richardson family will receive guests at the Heeney-Sundquist Funeral Home on Monday, January 17, from 12 noon-3:00 pm. A memorial ceremony will conclude the visiting hours at 3 pm. In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions are suggested to Keep Michigan Beautiful. Kindly keep Shirley and her family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Here’s the link to the obituary of her husband, John (not a Hope College graduate):

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